In the current situation teachers, students, and their parents face a completely new challenge. On the one hand, they care about maintaining a familiar reality. On the other hand, it is important to acquire new information, cognitive development, and implement the core curriculum. In this new situation, we need to verify, change, and adapt both methods of transferring knowledge and checking its growth, as well as ways to teach students independently at home. For parents who often are working remotely, the situation becomes even more difficult. Many people can't get support from grandparents because seniors are a group that needs special protection during this difficult time. Parents must, therefore, fulfil their professional responsibilities while supporting their children in learning. Below are some tips on how to organize homeschooling in the near future.
1. Stay in touch
In education at home, it is important to keep students in touch with classmates. This will ease the feeling of isolation. Many classes have class groups on their messengers. In this situation, it could be valuable to use them not only to talk about science but also for social contacts which are an extremely important element of school life. It is good to remember the rules of contacts in groups (many classes have developed their own set of rules) so that each student feels good using this form of contact. It is worth noting that usual ways students use to communicate with each other remotely (i.e. messengers such as Messenger or WhatsApp) are often controlled and limited by adults. Therefore it is worth setting new rules at home at that time, e.g. setting the time for using mobile devices for "social" purposes, a reminder of the so-called netiquettes, to make contact pleasant and supportive for students, and not to contain hate, unscrupulous words, etc.
2. Let's take care of balance - let's work wisely
Let us approach with understanding and moderation while proposing tasks to do at home. It is important to balance tasks and work cards, preferably in consultation with other teachers, to prevent the student from being overloaded with tasks. We should offer tasks and activities that are tailored to a child's abilities and needs so that he can perform them himself. Parents working from home will not always be able to devote as much time to a child as a teacher explaining a problem in class at school. Engaging and inspiring tasks appropriate to a child's abilities will allow the student to spend time in a valuable way while parents facilitate remote work. The current situation is difficult and stressful for everyone, so it is worth ensuring balance so that learning at home does not become an additional source of stress.
3. Do not give up physical activity
It is important to plan a day to prevent growing frustration and nervousness. Until now children have participated in many additional activities that allowed them to release tension, stress, and provide pleasure and satisfaction. Many parents also took part in such activities. Staying at home all the time can be frustrating and difficult. Of course, this is an opportunity for joint board games, conversations, etc., i.e. taking care of relationships with each other but it is also important to consider the aspect of necessary physical activity.Let’s find time to walk away from people (e.g. in the woods) and even to physical exercises at home. For this purpose, you can use the online training offered by the instructors.
4. Free time
It is worth using various forms of activating children, e.g. in the form of artistic works, activities within the child's interests Many studies available on the Internet contain a lot of interesting play suggestions which, through the prism of novelty, can be interesting and engaging for a child. Remember that games, in addition to having many socio-emotional or educational values, can also be an opportunity to strengthen relationships with the parent and have a positive effect on reducing tension.
5. Caring for the teacher-student relationship
For teachers, the biggest current challenges are mainly reaching for a wider range of interactive, online ways of learning and contacting and finding ways to check the growth of knowledge. It is, however, first and foremost important to make contact between the teacher and students, maintain relationships, and provide support so that contact is not limited to delegating tasks to be done and giving pages to do. Students are currently experiencing greater stress, the situation in the country is difficult and unpredictable, this raises concern. You should currently take care of your psychophysical condition, emotions, and provide support. Mutual understanding will definitely increase the sense of stability and security.
6. Student's health and safety
Bearing in mind that current education takes place mainly via the Internet, it is also worth remembering that the learning process should be conducted in a safe manner and with adequate occupational hygiene. Especially now, when children spend more time in front of monitor screens. So what should you pay special attention to?
7. Let's plan the day, set the schedule.
It is important to take care of the right proportions of time spent on individual activities, but also to maintain the daily routine Plan the day by setting fixed hours for study, rest, peer relationships, movement, and activity. When organizing work and study at home, remember that a certain schedule is to serve us, not the other way. Let's adapt the learning rhythm to the situation and needs of our family. However, it is worth developing some permanent habits that will allow you to separate it from leisure time despite the implementation of homeschooling. This structured plan of the day will help maintain proper hygiene of mental work, positively affect the mood, sense of security and predictability. Let's try to treat meals as breaks from studying and working. It is worth preparing a place for this purpose before learning, but it is important to approach this matter flexibly. If at a given moment, or for a specific task, the child prefers to learn, e.g. lying on a carpet or sitting on the balcony it could be considered.
8. Mutual understanding and cooperation
Teachers nowadays often feel pressure related to expectations of their work, effects etc. They often work from home and take care of their children at the same time. At the same time, they want their students with whom they live, whom they care about, whose results they are not indifferent to, feel good and safe at this difficult time, and receive the necessary knowledge. This situation creates tension and stress which definitely is not conducive to effective work. It is especially important now for everyone to demonstrate understanding and kindness. So that instead of expectations for each other there can be cooperation, mutual support, constructive exchange of insights allowing everyone to get through this difficult time.
Prepared by PPP psychologists "Osiek": Karolina Muszyńska, Agnieszka Gurzyńska-Ellwart, Agnieszka Wiankowska
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